Worthy or unworthy – Sermon for 29 May 2016

Who is worthy of the gifts of God?
Who deserves grace?
Who should have forgiveness and healing and who shouldn’t have them?

These questions matter, because we humans are always judging people. We’re very good at it. In a minutes I’ll say two reasons why I think we’re so good at judging people, but I’ll just give you a moment to agree with me *smile* when I say that we’re good at judging people. {Read the readings. We use track 2.}

Continue reading Worthy or unworthy – Sermon for 29 May 2016

It’s the best word we have – sermon for Trinity Sunday 2016

This is Trinity Sunday!

Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after Pentecost each year. We are, of course, Trinity Episcopal Church, so this is sort of a special day for us.

It is also a major feast day in the church year. It’s one of the top seven, what we call Principal Feasts. They’re in the prayer book on page 15, and they’re the days in the calendar that outrank everything else: Christmas Day, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost, All Saints, and Trinity. 5 of those commemorate major events in the life of Jesus Christ. That makes sense. We’re pretty centered on Jesus Christ and his life. One fo those, All Saints, is dedicated to, well, all the saints, the communion of saints, which collectively witness to the power of Jesus Christ in human life, in all its manifold variety.  Continue reading It’s the best word we have – sermon for Trinity Sunday 2016

The Lord, the Giver of Life – Sermon for Pentecost 2016

Today is the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. On this day we remember and celebrate the moment when the disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem, as Christ had advised them to do. On that day, the Holy Spirit descended upon them, and they were changed. They were enlightened by the Spirit and they were empowered by the Spirit.

But how were they enlightened, and for what mission were they empowered? Continue reading The Lord, the Giver of Life – Sermon for Pentecost 2016

Silence – sermon for 8 May 2016

I was at the Chamber Singers concert last night, as were a number of you. I wasn’t following along in my program. The choir started on a piece and I knew in an instant that it was Handel. Sure enough… it was from the Dettingen Te Deum. It just sounded like Handel. It’s the same with composers, current bands, artists, writers… we can get to know the feel of their work. It’s the same with the gospels.

Each of the Gospels has a different feel, a different sound, as distinct as the characteristic sounds of different composers. Once you read them enough, it only takes a few verses to make a pretty good guess. “Oh, that’s probably Luke.” “Oh, that sounds like Mark.” Continue reading Silence – sermon for 8 May 2016

On the Ascension

From today’s sermon: “Christ had to bid farewell to the disciples as he was in his mortal body, so that he could be immortally and spiritually present to all creation. … No location could be more blessed than another by his presence, whether Jerusalem, or Galilee, or Oshkosh, because after his ascension all of humanity is equally distant from him, and equally close to him. So now we don’t measure the distance to Christ in terms of miles, but in terms of holiness, and devotion, and the availability of our hearts.”

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 Image from pixabay

I’ve made a cycling blog

Two Wheels No Clue
Two Wheels No Clue

I’m doing cycling now.

It’s been a minor goal of mine to try to commute via bicycle at least a little bit, to reduce my car driving and to increase my physical activity. I’ve been putting it off for, oh, years. So a few days ago I just jumped back into it.

Anyway, I’ve started a blog for bike-related stuff, so I can keep this space more church/preaching/theology/Christ-centered. Bookmark, then, if you care, 2wheels0clue.blogspot.com/.

The End of the World — Sermon for 24 April 2016

{See the readings from this Sunday}
Friends, I want to talk today about the end of the world.

OK. So what popped into your mind when I said that? Fire and brimstone? Earthquakes? Mushroom clouds? The complete collapse of civilization? Zombie hordes rising up?

atomic-bomb-1011738_640
The end of the world?

Continue reading The End of the World — Sermon for 24 April 2016

Many ways to live – sermon for 17 April 2016

Today, at the 10 o’clock service, we baptize Julia, and Rosie will reaffirm her Christian baptism. That’s part of the context of this sermon. You might also want to read the lessons appointed for the day. 

During this Easter season, I’ve been thinking a lot about what Easter is all about. What happened on that Easter day, and why did Christians start to celebrate it, and in fact build an entirely new spiritual world around it, and what does it have to do with us?

I come up with new answers every few days, but that’s really just a sign that the mystery of resurrection is, like all mystery, slightly beyond our grasp. We can see it, but we can never see all of it. We can understand it, but only at that deep level where we understand love and poetry and the best jokes.

Continue reading Many ways to live – sermon for 17 April 2016

“My Lord and My God” – Sermon for 3 Apr 2016

Every year, on the second Sunday of Easter, we hear this portion of St. John’s gospel. It recounts 2 of the times when Jesus appeared to his followers after his resurrection from the dead. We have a lot to learn from these encounters with the risen Lord. We learn from them what we will be like in the age to come. Many people are fascinated by what happens when we die. There is a lot of speculation, a lot of interest, lots of misinformation about the so-called afterlife. Continue reading “My Lord and My God” – Sermon for 3 Apr 2016

Astounding News – sermon for Easter Sunday 2016

What a journey it has been. After Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and the Great Vigil of Easter, we arrive here, at the culmination of our Holy Week, and the beginning of Easter Week, with the Sunday of the Resurrection.

I have a confession. For a while, I didn’t really believe in the resurrection. It didn’t make sense to me. I mean, we all know people who have died. We don’t see them coming back to life. I haven’t at any rate. Maybe you have. Continue reading Astounding News – sermon for Easter Sunday 2016